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Planetarium and Digital Dome

Iziko’s enriching and enabling education programmes include Planetarium edu-tainment for diverse school groups and audiences.

The programmes endeavour to develop the full potential of learners. They include lessons, workshops, teacher enrichment programmes and educational projects aimed at adding value to classroom practice, as well as special needs activities and educational resources.

See below for a series of Planetarium and Digital Dome events and resources!

Sky Map

The centre of the map is the overhead point, the edge is the horizon. To use the map, hold it up in front of you and rotate it to match the direction you are looking (e.g. hold it upside down when you are looking south). Do not lay it flat on a table or the points of the compass will be the wrong way round.

May Sky Map 2024

This month we say farewell to Orion (hunter) as it sets in the early evening and welcome back the prominent winter constellations Scorpius (scorpion) and Sagittarius (archer) situated low on the eastern horizon. Try see where the glowing path of the Milky Way appears to broaden around these two constellations (requires dark conditions) – this region encompasses the Galactic Centre with Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at its core.

Just south-west of Vela (sail), lies Carina (keel) and the bright star Canopus, also known as ‘Nanga’ or ‘Naka’ (the Horn Star) across Southern Africa. According to Tswana tradition, the reappearance of Naka just before sunrise (at month end), heralds the coming of Winter and the need to start breeding sheep. In Sotho and Venda traditions, the person who first sighted Naka/Nanga in the morning was awarded a cow by their chief.

For those early-risers, look towards the east just before sunrise as the moon will appear close to Saturn, Mars and Mercury on 4,5 and 6 May respectively. Also in this region of the sky, look out for the eta-Aquariids meteor shower, which peaks on 5 May between 03:30 and 05:30am SAST.  The crescent moon then reappears in our early evening skies after New Moon on the 8 May, with Full Moon (‘Frost Moon’) on the 23 May.

Download the May Sky Map HERE.

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